Publicis Groupe acquires Genedigi MSL group

Paris: Publicis Groupe has announced today it has signed an agreement to acquire Genedigi Group, one of China’s largest independent public relations and marketing communications agencies. Genedigi will be aligned with MSLGROUP, Publicis Groupe’s flagship specialty communications, public relations and events network. Genedigi will maintain its current name and continue to operate under the leadership of its founder Mr. Xiao Jun and his existing management team. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 1997, Genedigi Group employs 400 communications professionals across public relations, event marketing, digital marketing and an in-house market research center. Working with both domestic Chinese and foreign brands, Genedigi supports more than 50 clients across its offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Its clients include market leaders across China’s high growth industries, including automotive, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), information technology (IT), home appliances, banking and financial services. Xiao Jun, Chairman Genedigi Group, will report to Glenn Osaki, President of MSLGROUP Asia.

Through this strategic development, MSLGROUP becomes the largest public relations network in Greater China. With industry-leading PR, events and social media capabilities tailored to both multinational and Chinese clients, MSLGROUP Greater China now includes more than 650 staff across 11 offices in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Olivier Fleurot, Chief Executive Officer, MSLGROUP said, “We are honored to have Genedigi, one of China’s largest and most respected Chinese PR agencies, join the MSLGROUP family. This move reflects our commitment to offering clients solutions that are tailored to the Chinese market and to supporting fast-growing domestic industries.”

Xiao Jun, Chairman, Genedigi Group, and member of the MSLGROUP Greater China Management Board, commented, “At its core, this is a win-win partnership. MSLGROUP will provide a leading international network for our clients, and our joining will further enhance MSLGROUP’s capabilities and make it the true market leader in Greater China.”

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of China agency additions that includes Dreams (May 2011), Interactive Communications Ltd (ICL) (February 2011), and Eastwei Relations (November 2010). It is in line with Publicis Groupe’s strategy to increase its revenue derived from emerging markets to 30% over the next three years (from 22.7% in 2010), with China at its core and where Publicis Groupe has set an objective to double its size. According to ZenithOptimedia forecasts, ad expenditure rose by 16.9% in 2010 in China, and further double-digit growth is expected every year in the coming years.

Jean-Yves Naouri, Publicis Groupe COO and Chairman of China Publicis Groupe, added that “China is a top strategic priority for us. I am particularly pleased with the addition of Genedigi, which will allow us to become a market leader in PR. It is yet another sign of our strong

commitment to China. We will continue making significant investments across this promising market and we are on course to achieve our ambitious objectives, enabling us to offer best in class services to help our top multinational and Chinese clients as they grow in China, while significantly expanding our reach of Chinese cities and clients.”

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